Princeton University Library Catalog

“Make Our Schools Safer for Students”: Perspectives on the 2011 New Jersey Anti-Bullying Law

Edwards van Muijen, Christian [Browse]
Senior thesis
Pithers, Lisa [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year:
99 pages
Summary note:
In 2011, New Jersey signed into law the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, one of the strongest anti-bullying laws in the nation. Although much research has been done into the policy and psychological implications of such stringent laws, the area of educator perspectives, and especially the perspectives of non-teaching staff, is especially scarce. This paper attempts to analyze these perspectives, by surveying school principals, school nurses, school counselors, school social workers, school psychiatrists, and teachers throughout the state of New Jersey, investigating, analyzing, and comparing their perspectives on the state of bullying in their schools and the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act as a whole. This analysis found that the role that one serves in the school has little effect on one’s perspectives on the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, with only principals having a statistically significant lower level of agreement that the anti-bullying programs at their schools have improved with the laws implementation. However, it did show that some of the programs a respondent has in their school, such as the presence of a “Week of Respect” or a stronger professional development program, do have a strong effect on perceptions, specifically making respondents less likely to feel that their school’s program was sufficient or compliant with the law, that it had improved since the passage of the law, and that the law was effective in reducing bullying. This analysis has important policy implications, showing that the law’s passage did not lead to division among various types of education professionals, but possibly showing a dissatisfaction in the law by those whose schools are more engaged in anti-bullying efforts.